Grace. It is the word that we use at some special meal when we ask someone to pray. “Would you say grace?” we ask. It is a word that we will hear over and over again while watching the Sochi Winter Olympics on NBC. “She skates with so much grace!” we will declare. It is a word we repeat when we sing the great old hymn “Amazing Grace” at Aunt Mildred’s funeral—a fitting song for a saintly old woman.
Grace is a word that ought to bring us to our knees. More than anything else, it is what our Father in Heaven provided for us because of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is, to employ the ancient New Testament language, the tender and merciful kindness of God. It is the gift of his benevolent will toward us. And it is what we recipients of grace ought always to extend to those around us.
Yet too often the Body of Christ does not celebrate grace. We spend an inordinate amount of time offering “non-grace.” This is unfortunate, particularly at a time when the church at large is talking so much about the true nature of discipleship. Grace is likely the greatest example of discipleship on full display. It is the loving-kindness of God in plain view; evidence, if you will, that God is on the move and making a difference.
T. J. Addington, from his blog Leading from the Sandbox, has a wonderful commentary on what makes for a grace-filled disciple and a grace-filled church family. Take some time over the next few moments and read it carefully. Then ask yourself in what manner you display this most remarkable gift from God: Ten Markers of Grace-Filled People and Congregations.